My feeling is that if you want certain behaviors to continue and the level of disrespect to continue then by all means do not penalize a player.
In both situations, if they were exactly as you stated a red card was appropriate and would have been a wise move. Why? Once it starts if you do not set the tone and nip it in the bud then donâ€™t be surprised when it continues and then the match can get totally out of control. Offensive language loud enough for spectators to hear should be dealt with immediately and is totally within the laws of the game regardless of whether a league has a tolerance policy or not. Period.
Thanks for the reply. One of the things I find disturbing is that parents will tolerate actions on the field that they would not anywhere else, school for example, all in the name of winning. I've made this comment to many people and most agree. If Little Johnnie gets caught cheating on a test or speaks with foul language in the classroom, most parents would deal with it immediately and with serious consequences. But as long as you win your soccer game, tackling from behind, two handed shoves from behind, pulling shirts or arms to prevent a player from winning the ball is ok. Foul language is no problem, just don't get caught. As a coach and parent I have zero tolerance for such behaviors.
My expectations for referees is to enforce the laws of the game, period. If taking a hard line to deal with excessive fouls or violent play is needed to keep a game under control then so be it. You are not there to be the coaches, players or parents friend. The best referee I ever had told the coaches and players before a game, in a very professional and cordial manner, 'I will referee the game, the boys will play and the coaches will coach, parents will cheer. We won't do each others jobs and I will not tolerate any nonsense from anyone. Play clean and play hard within the laws of the game or you will deal with me, period'. Perhaps if more referees were like you and adopted this attitude and set the tone early before the match, especially with teams that have a bad track record, the situations described above would be less frequent? Thank you.